Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the second impeachment trial of former president Donald J. Trump for inciting a violent mob against the Capitol on January 6th. The trial will commence on Tuesday. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
A few weeks ago, I laid out the agenda for the Senate’s opening few weeks. First, nominations. Second, major legislation to rescue the American people from the continued effects of COVID-19. And third, an impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump.
The Senate has made steady progress on the first two agenda items, confirming several historic and exceptionally qualified nominees to President Biden’s cabinet. Tonight, we’ll be voting on the budget resolution, the first step in giving the Congress the tools to pass a major relief bill.
And on Tuesday, the Senate will begin to fulfil the third responsibility that I outlined: the second impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump for inciting a violent mob against the Capitol on January 6th. They were right near all of us. Right near all of us.
It has been nearly a month since the attacks on the 6th. Time will do its part to heal the scars left by that day. But we cannot allow it to dull our sense of responsibility for holding to account those who perpetrated—and motivated—the attack.
We were all witnesses to the events that day, when a group of insurrectionists, white supremacists, and domestic terrorists, fed a cavalcade of lies about the legitimacy of the American elections by the former President; told to come to Washington by the former president; whipped into a frenzy and directed towards the Capitol by the former president; invaded and desecrated this sacred temple of democracy with the intention of denying the counting of the electoral college vote, the final act in certifying the former president’s defeat.
The horrors of that day may have faded for some, not for others. Many in this chamber—staff, Senators and House members and House staff alike—still live through this every single day. Every single day. So it has not faded for a lot of us. But, as a country—and even for those for whom it has faded—we cannot simply move on. The United States Capitol complex has been militarized, patrolled by the national guard, surrounded by a fence, to safeguard the People’s house from the people themselves. Five people are dead. Just yesterday, we held a memorial service in the Rotunda of this building for a Capitol Police officer who was tragically killed during the attack.
There cannot be any healing without truth, without accountability. The idea that we should sweep this under the rug and move on: one of the greatest acts of perfidy against this government, against the American people in our grand 200-some odd year history. No sweeping under the rug.
So the trial will commence on Tuesday. Senators have already been sworn in as judges and jurors. The House managers have filed their brief. The former president’s counsel have filed their answer.
The constitutional objection raised by some of my Republican colleagues has been completely debunked by more than 150 scholars representing the entire breadth of the political spectrum, including very prominent conservatives like Steven Calabresi, the co-founder of the Federalist Society.
We will move forward with a fair and speedy trial. The House managers will present their case. The former president’s counsel will mount a defense, and Senators will have to look deep into their consciences and determine if Donald Trump is guilty, and if so, ever qualified again to enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.
We will pass judgment, as our solemn duty under the Constitution demands. And in turn, History will judge how the Senate, and each Senator, responds.